Basholi is a small town in Kathua district of Jammu and Kashmir. It was founded by Raja Bhupat Pal in circa 1635 and is renowned for a special and vibrant style of Pahari miniature paintings.
Basholi Paintings are considered the first school of Pahari paintings. This style evolved into the much prolific Kangra paintings school by mid-eighteenth century. It is marked by bold stokes of primary colours and deep set facial patterns. The style developed under the patronage of Raja Kripal Pal and was truly unconventional, rich and highly vigorous. It is endowed with intricate geometrical designs, monochrome background, gloss finishes and dramatic compositions with imposing figures with decorative attire, a special focus on eyes, use of beetles wings for showing diamonds in ornaments, narrow sky and red border.
- Devidasa a descendant of the Tarkhan community,under the patronage of Kripal Pal has executed miniatures of the Rasamanjari text which was written by poet Bhanu Datta. The miniatures are known as Rasamanjari illustrations.
- The wondrous paintings have also given shape to many illustrations of Hindu Gods viz. Radha-Krishna; Madhava-Malti and even themes from Bhagvata Purana.
- The depictions are an artistic amalgamation of Hindu mythology, Mughal miniature art forms and also the prevalent hill folk
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